This week was a nice balance of spending money and saving money. Lately it’s been save, save, save, so it felt a bit strange to spend.
- We enjoyed meals at home and husband brought lunch to work from home most days.
- Summer break – trying to keep busy with my daughter without spending a lot of money. We went to an outdoor lunchtime reggae concert and brought our picnic lunch.
- Another day we walked to the grounds of a local university with gorgeous landscaping and took a picnic lunch, played the card game ‘Fairy Snap’, and then walked to the library for a free showing of the movie ‘Brave.’
- I was inspired by Lili over at Creative Savv to enjoy some of the beautiful things I have at home and we used pretty cloth strawberry-print napkins and a Vera Bradley cooler for our picnics.
- Walked to the Village Hall to pay our water bill
- My daughter had an afternoon with Grandma which allowed my husband and me to have a lunch date and do some shopping. The money for lunch came from our “Date” budget category and we still have $20.00 left in it for the future.
- Husband and I went to Target and the mall while daughter was with Grandma. Target was an opportunity to stock up on some essentials, like lots of sunscreen. We rarely go to Target but when we do we maximize savings by printing out the Target coupons on their website which can be combined with manufacturer’s coupons for even greater savings!
- At the mall we had a 30% off everything coupon at Eddie Bauer and were able to pick up a day pack for our upcoming trip to Santa Fe.
We ended the week with about 20% of our weekly budget left and split that money between general savings and our home repair fund.
In other news, my post ‘So You’re Debt Free, Where are the Granite Countertops‘ was recently featured over on the Carnival of Financial Independence. A blog carnival is an opportunity to gather a variety of blog posts on similar topics together in one place.
Enjoy your Sunday!
My little garden frog
This was a successful week for our budget. We ended the week with over 50% of our weekly money unspent. There were a few reasons for this:
- I ended up working additional hours at work – there was no time to spend any money!
- I knew I would be at work a lot and planned simple meals at home that didn’t require a lot of preparation. We stuck to our meal plan.
- Requested and received a $5.00 Amazon gift card from redeeming coupons with SavingStar
- Cashed a $10.00 rebate that my husband submitted
When I wasn’t at work, I was working at home to get ready for our annual block rummage. We had a successful day and sold about $ 210 worth of treasures, some of which were generously contributed by my Mom and my neighbor. The $ 210 isn’t part of our weekly budget money. We will save the cash to use on our vacation later this summer. It feels a little like “free money”!
The one thing we forgot to put out at our rummage sale was a big roll of leftover carpet from a stair-carpeting project. I am challenging myself to look into Craigslist for this, soon, while the carpet is still brand new. Let’s see if I can accomplish this before the end of the month!
Just a few more days left of school, with plenty of end-of-the year events. I am working on an easy meal plan to get us through.
On the expenditure side of life, we discussed a need to plan for new exterior siding in the coming year. We will begin separately funding this project as soon as we get our regular savings to a more comfortable level for us.
How was your week?
Each week we have a set pool of money budgeted that we draw from for food, gas, dining out, entertainment, clothing or hair cuts, household goods, and so on. We like to come in under budget so we can put more money into savings.
This week we knew we would have some gift expenses, so we tried to save in other areas. It worked! We were able to save about 40% of our weekly funds towards saving because we:
- planned meals using some ingredients we already had on hand
- ate at home every night
- planned a fun low-cost Saturday at home going to playgrounds and working in the yard. It’s finally nice weather here!
- made some Chex Mix for Saturday night snacking using ingredients I already had at home
- started running our dehumidifier in the basement during time of use rate to save electricity expense
Long-term planning to save money:
- ordered some seeds from Seed Savers Exchange (shipping is minimal) to get ready for planting the vegetable garden. Trying some new colder-weather crops this year like golden beets and bok choy.
- setting aside some money in the coming weeks for the inevitable garden expenses that seem to crop up by the end of May.
What did you do this week to keep your spending in check?
If you have a moment I recommend heading over to The Frugal Guru Guide for a wonderfully funny SNL clip with Steve Martin called ‘Do Not Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford.”